The Hill House Majors Baseball League (ages 10-12) recently concluded another successful and fun filled season, one that continued the growth of the individual players and league itself. The season started with all four teams, the Nationals, Astros, Red Sox, and Rangers, playing a fourteen game regular season schedule on the Boston Common little league and softball fields. Their schedule also includes two intra-league games against teams from the North End Athletic Association, and ends with two three-game playoff series. In the first round of the playoffs, the Nationals beat the Rangers in two games while the Astros topped the Red Sox in two games as well. The championship, a hard-fought and rain-shortened two game series between the Nationals and Astros, again reminded us of how baseball can be both thrilling and unpredictable regardless of the age or skill level.
The first game was a pitchers battle from beginning to end, with both teams struggling to find consistent offense, resulting in the Astros winning 4-2. Taalin Raoshah and Zach Anker of the Astros combined to give up just two hits and two walks to the Nationals, with Taalin striking out six and Zach striking out eight Nationals hitters. Eric Palace, Yuki Okajima, and Will Loewenguth all walked and scored for the Astros, while Jonathan Aldsworth, Zach Anker, and Patrick Heffernan each recorded a hit and an RBI to lead the Astros to victory. The Nationals did not give up without a fight, however, as Elliot Wolf had a triple, RBI, and run scored, while Jake Berger also smashed a triple off the fence and Colton Begley recorded a walk and a run scored to further contribute to the Nationals offensive attack.
Game two followed a much different script, however, as both team’s bats woke up to the tune of twenty five runs scored and twenty one hits combined between the two teams, with the Nationals ultimately winning the slugfest by a score of 18-7. For the Astros, Taalin Raoshah (2 for 3 with a double and a walk), Patrick Heffernan (2 for 2 with two singles, three RBIs, one stolen base and one walk), and Jackson Roloff (1 for 2 with a double, hit by pitch, and two stolen bases) led the offensive attack, while Heffernan also contributed two and a third innings pitched with four strikeouts and only one hit allowed. The Nationals were not to be out-done, however, as the top of their lineup sparked a relentless National’s offense. Leading the way was Elliot Wolf who was 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs, along with Francis Selldorff who was 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs, and Josiah Perkins who was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Perhaps the most impressive offensive performance of the day, however, belonged to Jake Berger, who smashed three home runs and drew one walk, leaving him with an astonishing five runs batted in.
Along with the players’ fantastic achievements on the field this season, the parents, coaches, and league officials continued their work off of the field to make the little league experience better for everyone. Beginning with a program that established an indoor location for the players to practice during the offseason, the parents created a fund designed to help improve the fields used during the season. The fund helped the overall quality of the infield, including new bases and a new pitching mound that decreased the number of rainouts compared to previous years. These improvements, coupled with the consistently encouraging attitudes from both the players and parents, have helped foster a positive environment for everyone involved in the Hill House little league program. As Ann Ryan, mother of Thomas Ryan, notes, her son isn’t the only one who has benefitted from the league’s ability to bring the neighborhood closer together, “I wanted my son to play because I wanted him to meet neighborhood friends, and that has happened, but I’ve met friends as well, its been really nice.”